Mail era is gone. Now we contact either by email or phone, so why is it still necessary?

I have read it is to let the employer know where you live, but why is it necessary? If I'm applying for a job which is far from home is because I know I will have to relocate, isn't it obvious?

  • Can you look at this issue from the employer's perspective that want to know how local are various candidates as the 100+ candidates may have to be divided up and if someone is making a major move this could be a cost to the company that may be avoided otherwise. – JB King Sep 16 '13 at 22:30
  • Expand on that comment and make it an answer, and I'd upvote it. – thursdaysgeek Sep 16 '13 at 22:35
  • In my experience, only a minority of recruiters even bother looking at the address, and a fraction of those actually do any research to understand where that location is in relation to the job they're trying to fill. When I was last looking for a job, I received countless emails and calls from recruiters who blatantly ignored the address on my resume. One told me he doesn't bother looking at it. On your resume, make it very obvious that you are looking to relocate. – alroc Sep 17 '13 at 1:12
  • @alroc - I live in a large city, so recruiters always indicate which side the job is located on and want to know where I'm at. Long-commutes can turn off many candidates. – user8365 Sep 17 '13 at 12:56
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    Btw I see four close votes, but not even a single comment why should it be closed. – user8137 Sep 17 '13 at 14:40

In general, when you apply for a job (or rent an apartment, apply for a credit card, etc) folks want to do a background check on you to make sure you're not a felon, or a credit risk, or a thief, or someone who for whatever reason won't qualify for the role because your personal profile represents unnecessary risks to the business that outweigh whatever skills you bring to the table.

Your credit report, criminal history, and mode of living can all be tied to your current and previous addresses, and background screening companies use this information to verify you're not an employment risk.

According to career coach Terri Lee Ryan, author of Should You List Your Home Address on Your Resume?, employers may use a pre-screening process where any resumes that don't include this information are tossed out. With so many applicants, screeners may use such techniques to narrow the pile to an array of candidates more manageable.

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    Certainly you'd need to give an address before or upon being hired, but I would hope they weren't doing background checks on everyone from whom they receive a resume! – thursdaysgeek Sep 16 '13 at 23:30
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    @thursdaysgeek - Your comment prompted a little more research, and it sounds as if companies use this information in pre-screening to narrow the pile. They may not run background checks, but if they think someone might be making it harder to run checks, they may just toss out that resume. – jmort253 Sep 16 '13 at 23:48

While there is e-mail and phone as ways to contact someone, how do I know how local someone is when they apply for a job? If I have 100+ candidates that all meet my initial requirements, wouldn't it make sense to interview the local people first? If someone has to move this can cost in both money and time in some cases. The key point here is that if I have a pile of resumes, how does the company distinguish who should get an interview?

There can also be that odd personal touch for some people, like an "I went to school near there," or "Oh that's a nice neighborhood," as there can be things inferred from the address,e.g. if someone lived in Beverly Hills or Compton for a couple of parts of California that one could contrast.


Obviously employers may vary. I have hired dozens of people over the years and I have never:

  • run a background check. I'm not sure it's even legal in Canada. We're not supposed to take a criminal record into account. Credit rating never made sense to me as a legitimate proxy for hire-ability.
  • decided on someone else's behalf whether they could stand a commute or not - I hired someone once who had a 1.5 hr commute to downtown Toronto, he came to work for me without moving and had a 1 hour more pleasant commute in the opposite direction, to our office.
  • covered anyone's travel expenses, whether to come and be interviewed or to come and work for me. We're just too small to afford it.

That said, I still like to see the address in the cover letter if not in the resume, and my children both provide resumes that include this. I think it's more a matter of respecting the rituals than it serving any practical purpose. After all, I can probably narrow down roughly where you live by looking at where you work now. Even if you see no good reason for including it, omitting it gives people an excuse to toss your resume aside; don't do that.

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    I am pretty sure background checks are legal in Canada, and I'm also pretty sure that you must get explicit consent from the person you are doing the check on. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 17 '13 at 15:14

Commuting to work can be a major factor in selecting a job. Either in larger cities because of traffic or in more rural areas based on distance.

Depending on your current address, this may not be a factor so there's no reason to mention it. If I thought someone would have a long commute, I would want to make sure they were aware of it and try to get any past history on willingness to have a long commute.

Many people will say they are willing to live with a long commute, but may be more likely to take a similar job if it is closer. In some major cities, commuting can be very expensive if you're paying for parking, train tickets or even gas.

Your address can be used to have more information about your prior work experience and probably to do a background check before hiring. Some names are common, so having a current address can make it easier to check the right John Smith.


My opinion you can put the town name. I wouldn't want to publish my full address to everyone who read my CV. In case the company offers you the job then you should give them your full address.